BPD Launches Cam-Share Security Program In Dorchester

The Boston Police Department has launched a new security program which utilizes the internet-connect security cameras at participating businesses and homes. The program description:

“Boston Police Department, District C-11 recently launched a Public Safety Consortium among Dorchester Business Owners with an Information Sharing App, with the goal of bringing Dorchester’s Business Community together with the Boston Police Department to strategically plan and coordinate responses to emergency situations. To further this initiative, District C-11 is launching a new initiative to better coordinate, adjudicate, mitigate, prevent and respond to incidents in the community: Cam-Share.

By partnering with our neighbors, private cameras in and around our community can potentially be used as “Force- Multipliers.” Enabling Evidence to be quickly located, analyzed, and distributed among various agencies working together within the Criminal Justice System, to identify, locate, apprehend and adjudicate criminals responsible for committing an unlawful act(s)…”

While this video sharing program is new in Dorchester, similar programs exist elsewhere in the country. A quick online search found programs operating in Canyon (Texas), Elmhurst (Illinois), Schaumburg (Illinois), Washington (DC), and Waterloo (Illinois).

For more information, download the Community Cam-Share information and registration form (Adobe PDF; 490 KB). Or, contact: Timothy Connolly, Captain, Boston Police District C-11, 40 Gibson Street Dorchester, MA 02122. Phone: 617-343-4330.

 

Bag-Share Program Coming To Boston

Boomerang bags logoThe Boomerang Bags Boston Sew-a-thon event will start on November 18!

Sierra Rothberg invites interested persons to participate and help spread the word. The goals are to assemble at least 250 reusable handmade bags this weekend and 1,000 bags before the New Year.

Why reusable handmade bags? Many local residents see a bag-share program as an important solution to fight pollution. The event page explains:

“The City of Boston has been debating banning single use plastic bags for over a year. Meanwhile, the streets of Boston as well as harbor, rivers, and streams drown in the 219 MILLION BAGS that are used in BOSTON each year! Only a small percentage of plastic bags used every year are recycled. One of the big concerns heard from opposition is that a bag ban would negatively affect low income residents as well as senior citizens.

WE HAVE A SOLUTION! Regardless of how the City votes on passing an ordinance, habits and practices need to change. We are launching the first BAG SHARE in Boston this Spring. The idea is that fabric, resources, space, time and people-power will be donated to create reusable cloth bags. These bags will be displayed at stores and people can take one from the box, use one or more and return it.”

A variety of activities are underway. To learn more about ways to participate, visit the local Dorchester event page, or visit the Boomerang Bags website.

Daffodil Planting Events This Weekend

Boston Blooms with Daffodils, a citywide program offered by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, has once again provided 500 daffodil bulbs to be planted this fall in the Columbia-Savin Hill section of Dorchester. There will be two planting locations again this year in the neighborhood:

  1. Ryan Playground at corner of Harborview and Dorchester Ave, and
  2. McConnell Park by the flag pole

We need volunteers to help with this planting project. With plenty of bulbs to be placed in the ground, people should work best in teams of two: a digger and a planter. This can be a fun family event, where youth can participate in the beautification of their neighborhood, and enjoy seeing their efforts rewarded with blooms every spring. These bulbs are available now and help is needed to get them into the ground.

Persons interested in helping to plant these bulbs should meet at 9:15/9:30 am in Ryan Playground and at 10:00/10:30 am in McConnell Park on THIS Saturday, November 4, 2017.

2017 Dorchester Beach Festival

Mark you calendar! The 2017 Dorchester beach Festival will be held at Malibu Beach in Savin Hill on Saturday, August 26. The event is free.

Activities for children include arts and crafts, face painting, games, and more. Children’s activities start at 5:30 pm. At 7:30 pm the film “Jaws” will be shown. See the poster below for details and list of event sponsors.

Bring a blanket, picnic, chairs. Enjoy an end-of-the-summer event with your friends, family, and neighbors at the beach!

Image of flyer for the 2017 Dorchester Beach Festival

Event flyer. 2017 Dorchester Beach Festival

54 Pleasant Street Development Project: Deadline For Comments Is August 11

Image of proposed development at 54 Pleasant Street

The last neighborhood meeting about the 54 Pleasant Street development project was held on August 1st. According to the Dorchester Reporter:

“The development team offered two stark choices… saying the neighbors could get on board with a well-designed set of 17 condominium units or be left with a blocky set of nine rental units with above-ground parking. At a well-attended meeting hosted by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), neighbors expressed their discontent with the scope of the development and potential impacts on traffic and safety in the area…”

The proposed new condominium building would replace the existing Scally & Trayers Funeral Home at 54 Pleasant Street. Also:

“Attendees asked for alternatives to the underground parking in trade for a smaller unit count. Eileen Boyle of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association proposed nine units, but over a floor of above-ground parking to maintain the building’s shape… Sonia Kaszuba, who lives on Pearl Street, started a neighborhood petition to get the units reduced. In conversations with abutters, some were vehemently opposed to anything above six units, with others okay with a dozen. They split the difference and have been asking for nine.”

“[BPDA project manager John] Campbell dismissed the idea of the petition, which had gathered 85 signatories by Aug. 1. “Petitions don’t count for anything at all,” he said, asking instead that people submit comments to him via website, email, or mail. A public comment period on the proposal is open until Aug. 11…”

Residents and the BPDA clashed about zoning because the proposed development:

“… has a floor area ratio of 1.53, which [Pearl Street resident Mel] Parker pointed out is more than three times the ratio allowed by zoning… The higher the ratio, the more dense the development… BPDA project manager John Campbell, who was moderating the meeting, quickly reacted to Parker’s statements. “Do you realize how outdated that is?” he asked. “You’re talking about a 50-year-old zoning code… the zoning code is being changed neighborhood by neighborhood, and that’s what the Zoning Board of Appeals is for…”

Reportedly, several residents were shocked by that response, since current zoning law is the law.

Interested residents can view preliminary project documents and submit comments at the BPDA site, and join the 54 Pleasant Street Abutters group on Facebook.

Free Events For Bicycle Riders In Dorchester

Today’s post is 4th in a series about free events.

The Boston Neighborhood Bike Ride Series has two free events coming soon. The Neighborhood Ride Series (#IBikeBoston) welcomes riders (ages 16+, under 16 with parent present) of all abilities for a group ride exploring Dorchester streets and paths. During the rider you will see and learn about cultural and historical sights, plus parks and other favorite destinations.

The next group ride in Dorchester:
When: Saturday, August 5
Where: Starts in front of Ashmont Cycles in Peabody Square (Directions)
When: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Prizes are available for riders who complete 5 or more group rides. For more information, see the Dorchester event page, join the Boston Neighborhood Bike Ride Series group on Facebook, or follow the group on Twitter.

The next group ride scheduled is September 23 in Mattapan. Group riders in other areas of Boston are also planned.

Through its Boston Bikes program, the City of Boston seeks to “make bicycling fun, safe, and accessible.”

Next Meeting: 54 Pleasant Street Development Project

The next neighborhood meeting about the proposed 17-unit condo development project at 54 Pleasant Street will be:

Date: Tuesday, August 1
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Location: McLaughlin Center / Boys & Girls Club, 1135 Dorchester Ave

A prior neighborhood meeting was held on July 22. To learn more about this project, attend this upcoming meeting. Spread the word or join the 54 Pleasant Street Abutters group on Facebook.

Morrissey Blvd Redesign: Deadline For Feedback Is Tomorrow

Scope. Morrissey Blvd Redesign Plans. DCR. June 27.

Morrissey Boulevard Design Project Scope

Reminder: Wednesday, July 18, is the deadline to submit feedback about the redesign plans for the Morrissey Boulevard Reconstruction project. According to the Dorchester Reporter on June 29:

“What we’re trying to do throughout the project is maintain capacity where it’s needed, at the intersections… which are typically the most constrained and challenging locations,” said Gary McNaughton, a traffic engineer with McMahon Associates. “And then in the areas where we can repurpose some of that pavement over to provide better accommodations for bikes and [pedestrians] and better landscaping features, we’re making sure we’re able to do that.”

Two of the project’s main design goals are to elevate the roadway to minimize coastal flooding, and to better connect neighborhoods to the park and shore.

The last public meeting was held June 27, when an updated 25-percent design plan was presented. According to the timeline presented in June, the DCR expects to present 75-percent design plans at an upcoming meeting in October. The DCR expects to present final design plans at a public meeting in January 2018, followed by a pre-construction final meeting in the fall of 2018.

The June 27 redesign presentation is available online (Adobe PDF). Residents can submit feedback online at the DCR website.

Neighborhood Meeting About Proposed Development At 54 Pleasant Street

There will be a neighborhood meeting about the proposed 17-unit condo development project at 54 Pleasant Street:

Date: Saturday, July 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 – 11:00 am
Location: Christ The Rock Church, 48 Pleasant Street

A group of concerned neighbors met on February 4, 2017 to discuss this project, which would replace the existing Scally-Trayers Funeral Home. The group consensus was that the 17-unit project was, “too large and excessive for this property, and poses a significant impact upon density (a/k/a “cramming”)… Sentiments were shared with the developer Joey Arcari and with the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association at multiple Planning Committee Meetings, whose board members agree there is a definite validity to all of these concerns…”

To learn more about the project, please attend this neighborhood meeting. According to the flyer, Councilor Baker will attend this meeting:

“The Planning Board, Mayor’s Office, and Councilor Frank Baker have explicitly said they are looking to hear from the neighborhood before deciding upon their final position, either for or against this project”

Spread the word or join the 54 Pleasant Street Abutters group on Facebook. If you are unable to attend the meeting and support a reduced scale development project, then sign the online petition.

Why Is There A Supersized Bronze Pear In Dorchester?

Image of bronze pear in Edward Everett Square.

Bronze Pear in Edward Everett Square. Credit: Edgar B. Herwick III/WGBH News

Yes, there is a supersized bronze pear in Dorchester. Why is it there? When was it created? Who designed it? How tall is the pear? What is the history of the site?

Many of your neighbors have memorial bricks at the site. For answers to these questions and more, read this WGBH report.